"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jeremiah 36:1-8, 21-23, 27-28; 31:31-34 Commentary
by J. Clinton McCann
From the very beginning of his ministry, Jeremiah was "appoint[ed] . . . over nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant" (1:10; see 18:9; 24:6; 31:28; 45:4).
In today's lectionary reading, chapter 36 focuses on God's judgment -- plucking up and pulling down, destroying and overthrowing. God's restorative work -- building and planting -- is in view in 31:31-34.
Of all the prophetic books, Jeremiah probably has the most complex editorial history. We do not need to review the possible details. Suffice it to say that Jeremiah's vision of a hope-filled future for God's people is found in chapters 30-33, which are followed by further accounts of judgment. This arrangement may have resulted in part from the story we hear in chapter 36.
In particular, the first scroll of prophecy (verse 2) that Jehoiakim destroyed (verse 23) may have consisted largely of what is now Jeremiah 1 through 25:13. The second scroll, which duplicated the first with the addition of "many similar words" (36:32), may account for the larger Book of Jeremiah we now have (or at least have been part of the growth of the book).
In any case, the Book of Jeremiah, like Isaiah and ...
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Narrative Lectionary 055: Jeremiah
November 25, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's readings are: Jeremiah 36:1-8, 21-23, 27-28; then 31:31-34, and Luke 22:19-20.